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Taste your money at The Blazing Saddle

11/13/2013

Two of the three owners, Bryan “Stinky” Smith (left) and Chris Pullen, strike a pose upon the “meat rack” before a majestic mural of the old East Village — what the neighborhood looked like when The Saddle first opened 30 years ago.

Two of the three owners, Bryan “Stinky” Smith (left) and Chris Pullen, strike a pose upon the “meat rack” before a majestic mural of the old East Village — what the neighborhood looked like when The Saddle first opened 30 years ago.

The secret is out of the closet: Gay people know how to party. Although that’s a general statement which does not literally apply to all lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender people, those who do enjoy the night life surely share one crucial commonality: Fun.

Why do so many people drink alcohol? To catch a buzz. It releases us of our stifling inhibitions, frees us to laugh too loud, dance in a style that is uniquely our own, tell people how we really feel, make out with an otherwise platonic friend or have sex recklessly, passionately and remorselessly. It’s a sinful elixir that many consider a due reward for long, hard days of doing all the right things.

Speaking of, ever been to the Blazing Saddle? Anyone who’s ever caroused the East Village in the last 30 years has surely stumbled in and staggered out a time or two — gay or straight. For the uninitiated first-timer, it can be a culturally shocking experience, much to the delightful amusement of the regulars who can spot the frigid, fidgeting fresh meat upon the first toe in the door.

“Whether you’re the local dog catcher or the president of Principal, I think people are surprised when they walk in, because it’s not all naked men and rainbows everywhere,” said one of the three owners Bryan “Stinky” (“It’s more of an attitude and not an odor”) Smith. “It’s not like that. We’re about as non-PC as you can get.”

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Hence, the gay ol’ good time that’s guaranteed to be had by all.

Stinky and his business partners Chris Pullen and Robert “Mongo” Eikleberry understand the key concept of: A bar is a bar; people come to have fun without judgment. So check your morals and sensitivities at the door, please. The gang found crowding the bar, shooting pool or swinging ’round a stripper pole in the adjacent late-night dance bar warmly welcome any adult human being into the surly circle.

If that’s not disarming enough, then the “always a double” bartender’s motto is just the medicine that will have that necktie flying Rambo-style around the head and the body grooving to a twerk track you were too stiff to patronize in the past.

Speaking of stiff, more than for its LGBT patronage, The Blazing Saddle is famous for its drinks and daily specials that “eliminates all other competition and ruins you for all other bars,” according to Pullen. And it’s true. If your only experience at Blazing Saddle is a quick fix while waiting for a concert at nearby Wooly’s or House of Bricks, be warned, a little bit goes a long way. If you’re not careful, your concert night could be regretfully spent spooning with the toilet bowl. CV

The Blazing Saddle
416 E. Fifth St. / 246-1299
www.theblazingsaddle.com
HOURS: Mon.-Fri. 2 p.m.-2 a.m.; Sat.-Sun. 12 p.m.-2 a.m.
HAPPY HOURS: Double Punch Monday 2-8 p.m.; Tear it Up Tuesday 8 p.m.-2 a.m.; Pull Tab Wednesday all day; Thursday 2 p.m.-2 a.m.; Friday 2-8 p.m.; Saturday Cocktail Hour 12-7 p.m.; Sunday Cocktail Hour 12 p.m.-2 a.m.
DANCE BAR HOURS: Tues. open at 10 p.m.; Thurs.-Sat. open at 9 p.m.
ENTERTAINMENT: Latin Night Drag Show second and fourth Thursday every month at 11:30 p.m.; live DJs on Tues. and Thurs.
CAPACITY: 98

 

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